Here’s an interesting perspective I hadn’t thought much about:
Last weekend my boyfriend and I were driving up into the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina in the rain. Twilit clouds hugged their wet bellies to the ancient mountainsides. The highway signs reflected gently against the low, soft sky.
Since the last time we drove that stretch of highway, at least three new blocs of climate-controlled storage units have materialized. Rows upon rows of squat, sterile, eternally-lit, post-brutalist boxes that are proliferating like genital warts through some of the most beautiful countryside east of the Mississippi.
Not only are their constant lights, heat and air conditioning sucking up energy, storage units are ultimately the physical manifestation of everything that’s horrible and excessive about our consumerist, cheap, plastic throwaway culture: we buy and we buy until we literally don’t have room for it all, so then we rent a hole to hide it in to escape from having to think about it.
We pay our own rent or mortgage and simultaneously pay for little houses for the **** we can’t throw away. Just like the pockets of body fat that bulge out on the frames of those of us who habitually consume more calories than we burn, the landscape is bulging with storage units because we buy more things than we can use.
I don’t have a rented storage space, but I do have a lot of junk in my garage so that I can’t park my car there.